WBGO Journal

Saturday 6:30am - 7am

Hosted by Doug Doyle

The WBGO Journal is an award-winning half-hour news magazine that airs Saturdays at 6 am. Reports and analysis, informative interviews and features.

Courtesy of the artist

Thana Alexa had it all mapped out. 

Her new album, ONA, was set to launch her solo career to new heights. She was featured — with her husband, drummer Antonio Sánchez — on the cover of DownBeat magazine. Then the coronavirus put her nationwide tour on hold, along with countless other gigs around the world.

But out of that chaos came another opportunity: co-producing Live From Our Living Rooms, the world’s first fully livestreamed jazz festival.

Dwayne Clark

Broadway actor Dwayne Clark, who was born in Newark, has been hard at work as he and his wife Janeece are helping their kids, Jana and DJ, deal with on-line school instruction while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Clark has also launched a children's book series based on his experiences with his children and family.

Jodi Peterso-Stigers
Interfaith Sanctuary

While jazz singer, songwriter and saxophonist Curtis Stigers' touring schedule is on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, his wife Jodi Peterson-Stigers continues to go to work in Boise, Idaho.

Jodi is the Executive Director of Interfaith Sanctuary.   The shelter serves people of all genders, races, religions, and sexual orientation, as well as families with children, by providing a safe overnight emergency bed and practical services to transition out of homelessness.

Brandee Younger

With people being filled with anxiety, stress, depression and isolation, jazz musicians have been doing their part to try and bring "live" music to them via digital content and live streaming.

Nate Chinen, WBGO's Director of Editorial Content, chats with News Director Doug Doyle about why music is so important during difficult times and how WBGO is also responding to the demand for digital content through the Livestream Hub from WBGO.

Alice Stockton-Rosssini

As veteran New York City radio reporter Alice Stockton-Rossini is dealing with her parents testing positive for the coronavirus, she says people should be demanding that everyone be tested.

Stockton-Rossini's mother was the first in the family to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.  While Alice has not been tested, she has experienced nearly all of the symptoms.

Stockton-Rossini spoke to WBGO's News Director Doug Doyle and talked about how the coronavirus has impacted nearly her entire family in Ocean County.

Rich Uniacke

The non-profit organization Bridges was founded in 1988 with its mission to end homelessness through volunteer-driven outreach and individual case management focusing on health, housing and independence.

Bridges Executive Director Rich Uniacke spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about how the organization is handling the coronavirus pandemic and the need for donations.

Margie Warrell
Margie Warrell

Best-selling author Margie Warrell, an international expert on brave leadership and founder of Global Courage has been dealing with two extremely stressful situations lately.  She had to help rescue her parents from the bush fires in her native Australia and recently found out that her husband has been diagnosed with COVID-19.  Her husband Andrew has been isolated in an Australian hospital.

Warrell is releasing her new book at the end of the month, You've Got This: The Life Changing Power of Trusting Yourself.


Throughout the nation local and state governments are working around the clock to come up with ways to continue delivering vital services while they slow the advance of the coronavirus and tend to the rapidly growing cases of the virus. Currently our region is the leading national hotspot for this unprecedented outbreak.

Kent Garrett
Jon Kalish for WBGO News

A new book titled The Last Negroes At Harvard chronicles the lives of 18 African-Americans who were part of Harvard University’s Class of 1963.

Kent Garrett, the book’s co-author, was one of them. WBGO's Jon Kalish caught up with Garrett and one of his classmates from Harvard.

Click above to hear the story.

Governor Cuomo Orders 100% of Non-Essential Workers Home

Mar 20, 2020
Governor Cuomo

There are more than seven thousand coronavirus cases in New York State as of Friday. More than half of them are in New York City.

With the numbers increasing, Governor Cuomo is ordering all employees to work from home. The governor says only essential businesses will be able to have workers in the office or on the job site.

“There will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business not in compliance."

Mykola Velychko / iStockPhoto

Just last week, guitarist Pat Metheny finished the Australia and New Zealand leg of an international concert tour, in support of his new album. Then his band flew on to South America and learned that a remaining slew of dates — in Brazil and Chile, and all over Europe — had been canceled due to the coronavirus.

FDNY flicker page

A WBGO Conversation with News Director Doug Doyle and Bob Hennelly.

Doyle: Here in the United States local and state public health officials were scrambling this week in their efforts to get ahead of the coronavirus pandemic which has already killed over 1,000 people in Italy and over 4,000 in the rest of the world with close to 50 here in the U.S. After weeks of messaging from the Trump administrations that the coronavirus was like the flu, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top epidemiologist, shared some sobering news when he testified before Congress this week.

Women In Media - Newark
Women In Media - Newark

In response to the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) new recommendation for social distancing, and the World Health Organization's declaration of COVID-19 as an official pandemic, Women In Media - Newark Executive Director Pamela Morgan has postponed the 11th annual Women's History Month Film Festival.  A new date has yet to be determined.

WBGO will air the interviews about Blackbird and We Are The Endless Roar at a later date.

Nicole L. Thompson

Nicole L. Thompson, a filmmaker born and raised in Newark, will kickoff the Women In Media - Newark 2020 Film Festival March 25 at 6pm at the Newark Museum.  Thompson is the Director and Producer of Blackbird, an aspirational tale about Sherri Jones, an African American young woman who cleans planes for a living, but dreams of being a pilot.

Thompson spoke to WBGO News Director Doug Doyle from her home in Los Angeles. 

Joyce Adewumi is the Director and Producer of We Are The Endless Roar, a film that gives a better understanding of traditional African cultural practices and beliefs.

We Are The Endless Roar will be screened April 3 as part of the Women In Media - Newark 2020 Film Festival.  Adewumi's project will be shown at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center in Red Bank, New Jersey at 6pm.

Laiona Michelle
Sam Mattingly

Laiona Michelle, who dazzled audiences in in last year's George Street Playhouse production of her Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical, returns for a one-night only performance at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center on March 19 at 7:30pm in the Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater.

Ang Santos / WBGO

These advocates say they dedicate a lot of their time towards improving water quality in Newark.  Between full time jobs, parenting, the struggle is…

“O wow, the struggle is real,” says Newark activist, parent and social worker Shakima Thomas.  “Keeping people involved is a difficult task because people are concerned with what is going on now in their lives.  What they can see or actively change in the moment.” 

Thomas explains that the difficulty with treating lead in drinking water and its negative effects on health takes time and so…

Corona Virus
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

There are at least 33 coronavirus cases in New York State. Governor Cuomo says that number is expected to rise but he’s urging people not to panic. 

Meanwhile, New Jersey has at least its third case of coronavirus … the first in South Jersey. The patient is a Camden County resident. Officials say the man in his 60s is currently hospitalized in stable condition.

Two other people who tested positive for coronavirus are quarantined in hospitals in Bergen County. Acting Governor Sheila Oliver says the state was ready. 

ARChive of Contemporary Music
Jon Kalish for WBGO News

The ARChive of Contemporary Music in Manhattan has a collection of popular music that rivals that of the Library of Congress: more than three million recordings.

The archive is independent and gets no money from state or local governments. Because of rising rents, the archive is being forced to vacate its headquarters. But news of its predicament brought offers from all over the country and the archive has just announced that it will be moving to two different locations outside of the city.

Click above to hear Jon Kalish's feature.

Backpacks For Life
Doug Doyle for WBGO News

Marine Sgt. Brett D'Alessandro and his partner Alexa Modero started the non-profit Backpacks For Life in 2014.  The couple wanted to work with homeless veterans who are struggling and don't have any knowledge of the resources available to them. 

D'Alesandro and Modero came into the studios of WBGO to speak with News Director Doug Doyle about Backpacks For Life and why they've been able to help so many veterans over the years.

The Invisible Man
Harlan Jacobson for WBGO News

In HG Wells’ original 1897 novel, The Invisible Man, the central character, Griffin, is a medical student turned optical scientist who’s successfully unlocked the key to how we see—and turned himself invisible. Irreversibly. When he arrives at a country inn wrapped in bandages, wearing a country hat and a fake pink nose, and toting a complete laboratory setup to try to reverse-engineer his way back to visible, he is highly unpleasant by English country inn, family standards.

Marc de Grandpre
Sammy Steinlight for WBGO

The New York Red Bulls's home opener is Sunday (February 29) against FC Cincinnati.  The excitement about all the fan improvements inside Red Bull Arena is matched by the optimism surrounding the boosted development around the stadium in Harrison.

Red Bulls GM Marc de Grandpre joins host Doug Doyle for an emotional edition of SportsJam where the Montreal native talks about soccer, the area's growth and how his family still is his top priority.

Brit Harley / Newark Public Radio/WBGO

If the youth ran the city of Newark, what would they change? Students of Great Oaks Legacy Charter High School are answering this question. Sophia Domeville is educating the youth in Newark on how they can create the world the way they would like to see it and using art as the gateway to realize what is possible.

Pianist Adar Broshi died at 19 on April 5, 2019, after two and a half years of fighting a rare childhood cancer. During that heroic battle, Broshi wrote and recorded music.

Some of those songs — combining feelings of joy, uncertainty and the will to fight on — appear on a new album by the Avi Adrian Trio, Songs From A Dream: The Music of Adar Broshi.

Laurence Mathieu-Leger

Laurence Mathieu-Leger and Bryant McBride's critically acclaimed documentary Willie is now airing on ESPN in celebration of Black History Month.  It's the incredible story of trailblazer and Hockey Hall of Famer Willie O'Ree. 

Mathieu-Leger's first feature length documentary about the NHL's first black player has already won several awards during its festival run, including the Hot Docs Film Festival's Top 5 Audience Favorite and the Downtown LA Film Festival's Best Sports Documentary.

The Inheritance

The Inheritance, a new play on Broadway that focuses on the legacy of the AIDS epidemic, will close on March 15.

Theater critic Michael Bourne caught the show just in time. 

Click above to hear his review.

Radio Golf
Yurik L. Lozano

Obie Award-winning actor and director Brandon J. Dirden (King Hedley II, Seven Guitars) returns to Two River Theater in Red Bank, N.J., to direct the theater's sixth production from playwright August Wilson's The American Century Cycle.

Radio Golf is the Cycle's 10th and final play, set in 1997 in Pittsburgh's Hill District. It will run from Feb. 29 through March 22 at Two River's Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater in Red Bank, N.J.

Grand Horizons

The Second Stage production of Grand Horizons at the Helen Hayes on Broadway, stars Jane Alexander and James Cromwell as a disgruntled mother and father.

Click above to hear WBGO's theater critic Michael Bourne's review.

Mildred Antenor
David Tallacksen for WBGO

WBGO commentator Mildred Antenor is tired of hearing only about the opioid epidemic destroying those who live in wealthy white rural communities.  Antenor says although the numbers show that opioid victims in the black community tend to be fewer than that of white communities, minorities who are addicted to opioids tend to get little or no help in comparison to caucasions with the same drug addiction. 

Click above to hear her commentary.

Bob Max
Bob Max for WBGO News

An impressive military uniform displaying a Purple Heart and other medals of valor, dog tags with the Star of David on them, war-time letters to his parents and pictures chronicling the life an American hero…it’s all part of the new exhibit at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark titled The Long March Home: A World War II Story.